Word definition: a system of esoteric theosophy and theurgy developed by rabbis, reaching its peak about the 12th and 13th centuries, and influencing certain medieval and Renaissance Christian thinkers. It was based on a mystical method of interpreting Scripture by which initiates claimed to penetrate sacred mysteries. Among its central doctrines are, all creation is an emanation from the Deity and the soul exists from eternity.
Etymology: 1515–25; < Medieval Latin cab(b)ala < Hebrew qabbālāh ‘tradition’, literally, something received, i.e., handed down.
Technical description: esoteric Jewish mysticism as it appeared in the 12th and following centuries. Kabbala has always been essentially an oral tradition in that initiation into its doctrines and practices is conducted by a personal guide to avoid the dangers inherent in mystical experiences. Esoteric Kabbala is also “tradition” inasmuch as it lays claim to secret knowledge of the unwritten Torah (divine revelation) that was communicated by God to Moses and Adam. Though observance of the Law of Moses remained the basic tenet of Judaism, Kabbala provided a means of approaching God directly. It thus gave Judaism a religious dimension whose mystical approaches to God were viewed by some as dangerously pantheistic and heretical.
The earliest roots of Kabbala are traced to Merkava mysticism. It began to flourish in Palestine in the 1st century ce and had as its main concern ecstatic and mystical contemplation of the divine throne, or “chariot” (merkava), seen in a vision by Ezekiel, the prophet (Ezekiel 1). The earliest known Jewish text on magic and cosmology, Sefer Yetzira (“Book of Creation”), appeared sometime between the 3rd and the 6th century. It explained creation as a process involving the 10 divine numbers (sefirot; see sefira) of God the Creator and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Taken together, they were said to constitute the “32 paths of secret wisdom.”
A major text of early Kabbala was the 12th-century Sefer ha-bahir (“Book of Brightness”), whose influence on the development of Jewish esoteric mysticism and on Judaism in general was profound and lasting. The Bahir not only interpreted the sefirot as instrumental in creating and sustaining the universe but also introduced into Judaism such notions as the transmigration of souls (gilgul) and strengthened the foundations of Kabbala by providing it with an extensive mystical symbolism. (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Synonyms: secret doctrine or science.
Relevance of the concept: The Lurianic kabbala has a remarkable set of ideas that are compatible with Teilhard de Chardin’s omega point theory and Aurobindo’s concept of supramentalisation.
Word definition: Kaivalya, is the ultimate goal of Raja yoga
Etymology: it means “solitude”, “detachment” or “isolation”, a vrddhi-derivation from kevala “alone, isolated” It is the isolation of purusha from prakṛti, and subsequent liberation from rebirth, i.e., Moksha. Kaivalya-Mukti is described in some Upanishads such as Muktika and Kaivalya as the most superior form of Moksha which can grant liberation both within this life Jivanmukti and after death Videhamukti and the essence of all Upanishads. (Wikipedia)
Technical description: Kaivalya, (Sanskrit: “separateness”) in the Samkhya school of Hinduism, a state of liberation (moksha: literally, “release”) that the consciousness of an individual (purusha: “self” or “soul”) achieves by realizing that it is separate from matter (prakriti). The Samkhya school posits a dualistic cosmology. Both prakriti and purusha are eternal and of distinct natures. While prakriti is always changing, purusha is constant. They may, however, commingle, causing the purusha to become captivated by the material world. When this happens, the purusha ignores its true nature, falls under the delusion that it is part and parcel of the material world, becomes bound to this world because of karma (the effects of both good and bad actions), and undergoes a series of reincarnations. Release from this bondage is effected by the purusha’s realization of its total separateness from prakriti; hence the term kaivalya. (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: Liberation.
Synonyms: also called moksha or nirvana.
Relevance of the concept: The state of kaivalya is the main goal of Raja yoga. It is a detachment and independence from relationships, egoism, attraction, aversion and the cycle of birth and death. One can achieve this state by performing austerities, yoga practice and discipline. One who achieves this state is called a Kevalin.
The concept in mythology: The Hermit.
Word definition: Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman.
Etymology: 1827, in Buddhism, the sum of a person’s actions in one life, which determines his form in the next; from Sanskrit karma “action, work, deed; fate,” related to Sanskrit krnoti, Avestan kerenaoiti “makes,” Old Persian kunautiy “he makes;” from PIE root *kwer- “to make, form”
Technical description: Karma, Sanskrit karman (“act”), Pali kamma, in Indian religion and philosophy, the universal causal law by which good or bad actions determine the future modes of an individual’s existence. Karma represents the ethical dimension of the process of rebirth (samsara), belief in which is generally shared among the religious traditions of India. Indian soteriologies (theories of salvation) posit that future births and life situations will be conditioned by actions performed during one’s present life—which itself has been conditioned by the accumulated effects of actions performed in previous lives. The doctrine of karma thus directs adherents of Indian religions toward their common goal: release (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death. Karma thus serves two main functions within Indian moral philosophy: it provides the major motivation to live a moral life, and it serves as the primary explanation of the existence of evil. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: The concept of karma within Jain philosophy is described as follows:
“Karmas are constituted of infinitely small ‘Karma particles’. These particles are made up of non-living particles (pudgals) and are scattered and free floating across the universe.
When the soul acts with a passion such as attachment, anger, deceit, greed, etc. it attracts these. These particles on the soul are karma (karmas that do not obscure the true knowledge of the soul are known as Aghati karmas)”.
This puts the concept of karma clearly in the realm of subtle energies.
This makes it possible to replace speculative metaphysics with (visually) observable data.
What is called karma is formed by the clusters of subtle energies in the human aura.
These clusters can be visually observed as different groups of different colors, their location in the total field, movement patterns and so on.
See sections ‘colors and groups’ and ‘movement patterns’ of this website for more information. ( M.J.M.)
Synonyms: Aura field(s).
Cross-cultural comparisons: Karma particles’ can be seen as the totality of non-physical particles which constitute what is called the soul. ( M.J.M.)
“The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further… when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.”
Writings of July 1918, quoted in A Life of Erwin Schrödinger (1994) by Walter Moore ISBN 0521437679
Word definition: temporarily spiritual awakening.
Etymology: Kenshō is a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means “seeing,” shō means “nature, essence”. It is usually translated as “seeing one’s (true) nature,” that is, the Buddha-nature.
Technical description: Kenshō is an initial insight or awakening, not full Buddhahood. It is to be followed by further training to deepen this insight, and learn to express it in daily life.
The term kenshō is often used interchangeably with satori, which is derived from the verb satoru, and means “comprehension; understanding”. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: A peak experience on a high ontological level.
Synonyms: Temporarily Satori.
Relevance of the concept: satori (悟 Korean oh; Japanese satori; Chinese Wù) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. The word literally means “understanding.” It is sometimes loosely used interchangeably with Kensho, but Kensho refers to the first perception of the Buddha-Nature or True-Nature, sometimes referred to as “awakening.” Kensho is not a permanent state of enlightenment, but rather a clear glimpse of the true nature of creation. (New World Encyclopedia)
Word definition: the yogic life force that is held to lie coiled at the base of the spine until it is aroused and sent to the head to trigger enlightenment
Etymology: The concept of Kundalini is mentioned in the Upanishads (9th century BCE – 3rd century BCE) The Sanskrit adjective kuṇḍalin means “circular, annular”. It is mentioned as a noun for “snake” (in the sense “coiled”, as in “forming ringlets”) in the 12th-century Rajatarangini chronicle (I.2). Kuṇḍa (a noun meaning “bowl, water-pot” is found as the name of a Naga in Mahabharata 1.4828). The 8th-century Tantrasadbhava Tantra uses the term kundalī (“ring, bracelet; coil (of a rope)”) (Wikipedia)
Technical description: Kundalini (Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी kuṇḍalinī, “coiled one”), in Hinduism refers to a form of primal energy (or shakti) said to be located at the base of the spine. Kundalini awakening has been said to occur as a consequence of deep meditation which sometimes results in a feeling of enlightenment and bliss. However, Kundalini awakenings may happen through a variety of methods. Many systems of yoga focus on awakening Kundalini through meditation; pranayama breathing; the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. Kundalini Yoga is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of Mantra, Tantra, Yantra ,Yoga or Meditation. The Kundalini experience is frequently reported to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/mystical-experiences/kundalini/
Phenomenological description: when the subtle energies of a higher, ‘mystical’ level are drawn into the chakras, they become highly concentrated and are divided into different streams on different ‘vertical’ sublevels. It is these different streams of highly-concentrated subtle energies that form the kundalini force. ( M.J.M.)
Synonyms: Serpent power
Cross-cultural comparisons: We find a similar concept in Taoism: “the circulation of light”. Here also we have an energy, an inner fire, that begins at the base of the spine and rises to the brain. The Taoist practitioner regulates the chi, harmonizes Yin and Yang, and attains mystic consciousness.
In his classic work “The Serpent Power”  Sir John Woodroffe writes: “I am told that correspondences are discoverable between the Indian (Asiatic) Śāstra and the American-Indian Maya Scriptures of the Zunis called the Popul Vuh. My informant tells me that their “air-tube” is the Sushumna. Their “twofold air-tube” the Nadis Ida and Pingala. “Hurakan” or Lightning, is Kundalini, and the centers are depicted by animal glyphs.”
In Northwest Botswana live the !Kung bushmen of the Kalahari desert.
Richard Katz, a member of the Harvard Kalahari Research Group, gave an account of the N/um Tchai, the ceremonial dance of the !Kung bushmen.
He noted that N/um is similar to the Kundalini:
“The !Kung dance for many hours to heat up the N/um, a spiritual energy within themselves, so that the !Kia state can be attained. !Kia is a transcendental state.
N/um resides in the stomach, as it warms up, it rises from the base of the spine to the skull where the !Kia state is attained.
___,You dance, dance, dance, dance. Then n/um lifts you in your belly and lifts you in your back, and then you start to shiver. N/um makes you tremble; it is hot. Your eyes are open but you don’t look around; you hold your eyes still and look straight ahead. But when you get into !Kia, you’re looking around because you see everything, because you see what’s troubling everybody.___ then N/um enters every part of your body, right to the tip of your feet and even your hair ___
___in your backbone you feel a pointed something, and it works its way up. Then the base of your spine is tingling, tingling, tingling, tingling, tingling, tingling, tingling, and makes your thoughts nothing in your head
___the N/um explodes in the brain ___” 
Rasmussen, the Danish ethnologist and arctic explorer did extensive research on the Inuit/Eskimo culture. Mircea Eliade refers to Rasmussen’s research in his book: “Yoga; Immortality and Freedom” , about what the Eskimo call qaumaneq which corresponds to Kundalini: “But the inner light constitutes the decisive experience of Eskimo shamanism. We can even say that obtaining it is equivalent to an initiatory ordeal. For the candidate obtains this “illumination” –qaumaneq- after long hours of meditation and in perfect solitude.
According to the shamans whom Rasmussen questioned , the qaumaneq consists “of a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in his body, inside his head, within the brain, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire. Which enables him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, for he can now, even with closed eyes, see through darkness and perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others; thus they look into the future and into the secrets of other. “When the candidate experiences this “illumination” for the first time, “it is as if the house in which he is suddenly rises, he sees far ahead of him, through mountains, exactly as if the earth were one great plain, and his eyes could reach to the end of the earth. Nothing is hidden from him any longer”.
Tibetan Buddhism has the concept of Tummo. This is described as an intense feeling of heat within the body, a mystic fire which is similar to Kundalini, (however Tummo as a psychic fire should not be confused with the ability to increase one’s body temperature, which is a biological phenomenon and not a kundalini process).
In Christianity we find the potamoi, (which means rivers or streams in Greek).
“Whoever believes in me, as scripture says, rivers (potamoi) of living water will flow from within him.”  The kundalini energy flows through the main nadis, which means rivers or streams in Sanskrit. The intensity of the kundalini energy when activated is so strong that one feels streams of energy flowing within the body and even some flows outside the body.
Another reference to the kundalini energy is in the biblical description of the day of Pentecost: “And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy spirit.” 
The flames on the heads of the apostles are a reference to the kundalini ascending to the crown chakra. The flame on the head of the Buddha, as depicted in paintings and statues, refers to the same energy.
The activation of this energy may be extremely rare, but is clearly described in many different cultures. ( M.J.M.)
Relevance of the concept: An activated kundalini greatly enhances the
neuroplasticity of the brain. ( M.J.M.)
The concept in mythology: Caduceus, the Nehushtan, the staff of Aaron.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions from different cultures.
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Sir John Woodroffe; “The Serpent Power”, Dover Publications, INC. New York, 1974.
Gopi Krishna: “Kundalini.”
Word + definition:
Schemas / Maps:
Relevance of the concept:
The concept in mythology:
Serial patterns in time:
Parallel patterns in time:
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
: Sir John Woodroffe; “The Serpent Power”, Dover Publications, INC. New York, 1974. page:3.
: Katz; R. 1973 “Education for Transcendence: Lessons from the !Kung Zhu Twasi”. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (November 2);
Katz; R. 1982. Boiling energy: Community Healing among the Kalahari Kung, Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press;
: Mircea Eliade; “Yoga, Immortality and Freedom”, p. 334; London 1958.
: Rasmussen, Knud; “Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos”. Copenhagen. 1929.
: John 7:38.
 : Acts 2:2-4.